During the IOC Evaluation Commission trip to Sweden, Jacqueline Barrett, Associate Director Olympic Games/Olympic Candidatures, admitted that she was delighted to return to a place that had ‘made a big impression’ on her almost 25 years after her first visit.
“For me particularly, it was great to be back in Åre. I was in Åre in 1995, my first visit there, and it made a big impression on me at that time as a winter sports wonderland.”
She added: “It was good to see how the village has grown in that time, and you can really see how winter sports is part of its DNA. It was very exciting for me to be back in Åre.”
Åre is one of four key places proposed in the Stockholm Åre 2026 bid, alongside Stockholm, Falun and Sigulda, Latvia. Last month, the town in the north of Sweden hosted the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships.
After an action-packed week of meetings and tours of the venues, Barrett added that the IOC visit ‘full and exciting’ – especially getting a feel for the level of major event and winter sport expertise that already exists in Sweden.
“It’s been a busy, but full and exciting week. It’s been a great week. We visited venues across Stockholm, Åre and Falun, and we’ve seen some of the absolutely fantastic venues available.”
She continued: “We’ve met experienced World Championship and World Cup organisers, and we’ve been able to see those venues as they would operate during the Olympic Games. It’s been great and we’ve really felt the expertise that exists in this winter sports country.”